Mission Statements

Guideline for Developing Mission Statements
"A mission statement is a declaration of an organization's 'reason for being' -- it
reveals the long-term vision of an organization in terms of what it wants to be and whom
it wants to serve. A clear mission statement is essential for establishing goals and
objectives and for formulating plans to meet those goals and objectives. It is the
foundation for priorities and work assignments and is the starting point for the design of
managerial jobs and for the design of the managerial structure." "Practical Leadership
Strategies for SUNY Supervisors." Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor
Relations in Western New York. April 30, 1999.
Departmental and Divisional Mission Statements
According to the consultant who visited our campus on April 27, 1999, in order to
develop a mission statement that everyone can "own," individuals and departments
should answer the following questions:
Who are we (internal relationships)?
Whom do we serve (who are our customers)?
What do we do (what business are we in)?
How do we do it (what are the beliefs and values by which we operate)?
The answers to the questions become the basis for the division-wide mission
statement. According to the consultant, because employees were involved in developing
the answers, they will "own" the statement and, therefore, will be committed to fulfilling
its objectives. The consultant suggested a process wherein departments are also asked to
"draw" the answers to the four questions -- an icon representing the answer to each
question could then be placed on a crest which could become the crest/symbol of the
Connection to College's Mission
In connection with developing a departmental and/or division mission statement,
each employee and department should review the College's mission statement and state
how he/she/their work is connected to the College's mission. A division or department's
mission statement indicates what parts of the overall mission the division or department
represents and where the division or department fits in the organization. A department or
division's mission statement is derived from and supports the overall mission statement of
the College.